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Did You Know...

... that XPG4 is the first 4-way Women team in 2nd place at USPA Nationals?

XPG4 at the USPA Nationals 2023
image by: USPA/Paraclete XP
posted Sep 20th, 2023 - As it could be expected, Arizona Airspeed came back with vengeance after the Round 1 disaster. They did not allow any other team to get anywhere close to their highscores in the following nine rounds and still finished with the highest outdoor average that the current lineup has posted so far.

The two teams who had outscored the 4-way world champions in Round 1, SDC Rhythm XP and XPG4, had a few of their own point deductions in the same Super Sequence and then followed up with their battle for the positions behind Arizona Airspeed. Rhythm started two points ahead of XPG4, which lasted only for one round. Eventually, Rhythm had to fend off the Golden Knights to finish in a medal position.

XPG4 were on their own and different mission. They had mastered the 20+ average threshold at the 23rd FAI World Cup of Formation Skydiving at Skydive Voss in Norway, where they had as little opposition in 4-way Women as Arizona Airspeed had in 4-way Open and GKXP8 in 8-way. The Super Sequence in Round 1 offered the rare opportunity to boost the meet average to a new scoring level, and XPG4 took full advantage of the situation. As all other teams, including Arizona Airspeed, they still had to master the challenge of the Round 1/Super Sequence combination, and they did so with their 46-pointer.

USPA Nationals 2023
RankAAA/4-way OpenO,E,C,Q,H20,M,J,110,12,B4,18,L11,17,58,9,22A,19,K,13G,3,221,14,15D,F,7,NTotalAvg
1Arizona Airspeed43-829  22  23-128  21  26  23  20  33-226826.8
2XPG446-221  17  17  20  17-123  18  17  29-122522.5
3SDC Rhythm XP48-419  17  16  20  17  22  17-116  25-121721.7
4Golden Knights39-323  18  17-121  17-124  15-214  28  21621.6
5Pour Decisions35-118  15  16  18  16  20  15  14  23-119019.0
6RhEvolution XP27-419  13  15  16  15  16-116  13  23  17317.3
7Skydive Midwest NEXT26-418-112-215  17  14  17  15  13  23  17017.0
8Spaceland Apex22-511-111-214  15  13-219  14  13  22  15415.4
9Alti-2 Technologies24-112-110  13  13  11-114  11  11  18-113713.7
10Rhetirement Party21  12-211  10-18  12  13  12  10  17  12612.6
11Rippin Flatties10-44  3-35  4-34-16  3  5  10-3545.4

XPG4 at the USPA Nationals 2023, video footage courtesy of USPA/InTime
Golden Knights at the FAI World Championship 2016
Result of the ongoing XPG4 progression was not only the impressive 46-pointer and the new team record average. The 22.5 average after all ten rounds was also rewarded with the 2nd place on the 4-way Open Class leaderboard for the U.S. national team in 4-way Women.

The award ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday after the completion of the 8-way competition, where all XPG4 members are involved with different teams. Jeana Billings is winning in 8-way with GKXP8, while her former XP8 team mate Michelle Karamon has joined the Airspeed 8-way team for this year's national championship. Anna Brunner and Brenn Richards are back with Bra Nok and the same lineup as in Norway.

The 4-way award ceremony will feature the first time that a 4-way Women team receives the USPA silver medals in 4-way Open. The Golden Knights placed 3rd twice at USPA Nationals, first in 2014, then again in 2015, a year before they would win the 4-way Women competition at the FAI Outdoor World Championship 2016.

SDC Rhythm XP occupied the 2nd place in 2014 and 2015, and JaNette Lefkowitz stepped in for the U.S. Army team when Angela Nichols discontinued at the beginning of the 2016 season.

USPA Nationals 2015
RankAAA/4-way OpenJ,H,2,86,D,18F,9,L,O1,17,EK,19,N,P3,7,54,A,B,1211,16,M15,Q,2220,14,10TotalAvg
1Arizona Airspeed2724432326252523211925625.6
2SDC Rhythm XP2221422527202320201623623.6
3Golden Knights2319372224192321191722422.4
4Carolina Turbo XP2220342225201921181621721.7
5HG XP1518301822191815141218118.1
6Prestige Worldwide1816271516161416141316516.5
8Dallas 3501616231517171516141116016.0
9Verve XP1513271417161616131215915.9
10Spaceland Lite1614231317131313141014614.6

Golden Knights at the USPA Nationals 2015, video footage courtesy of USPA/InTime
XPG4 at the FAI World Cup 2023
SDC Rhythm was once again the main opponent for the current U.S. national team in 4-way Women. However, this time Doug Barron and his new lineup could not stop XPG4 from taking the 2nd place in 4-way Open. XPG4 eventually finished eight points ahead of SDC Rhythm XP and lost only Round 1 by two points.

XPG4's 22.5 average is on the scoring level of the Golden Knights in 2016, even though the 46-pointer in Round 1 lifted it to this average number. XPG4 are already the best 4-way Women team in the world after the 23rd FAI World Cup of Formation Skydiving, while the Golden Knights still had to win the FAI gold medals a year after the national championships of 2015.

XPG4 have to win gold medals at the outdoor world championship in Israel next year to match the Golden Knights with JaNette Lefkowitz in 2016, and that without a Super Sequence. However, the 2nd place in 4-way Open is a new record mark for a U.S. team of the female category. Jennifer Davidson switched to 8-way training and competition after the world championship in 2016 and became a member of the Golden Knights 8-way team. There she won her next gold medal in Australia 2018. XPG4 is a step ahead in 8-way too, as Jeana Billings and Michelle Karamon already won their gold medals with XP8 at the FAI Outdoor World Championship 2022.

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